Next week, ArtsWest will be honored at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s 2019 Westside Awards breakfast as Not-For-Profit of the Year. This week, the Junction playhouse has a big announcement of its own – its 2019-2020 season slate, under the title Agents of Change:
Artistic Director Mathew Wright today announced AGENTS OF CHANGE, ArtsWest’s 2019-20 Season, with six productions – featuring plays by Tony and Nobel Prize-winning playwrights, a boldly reimagined classic, and a world premiere from local luminary Sara Porkalob – all centered on revolutions, and the people who create, fuel and represent them.
Speaking to the idea of change and revolution that informs the Season – and draws on the theatre’s mission statement to, among other aims, use live theater as a powerful agent of change – Wright said, “We must each be constantly renewing ourselves. This company must always be renewing itself. Our politics must always be renewing itself. Our understanding of each other must always be renewing itself.” Wright invited everyone to join ArtsWest “for a season of theater that probes, interrogates, and celebrates change, growth, renewal – and revolution.”
AGENTS OF CHANGE opens with the Seattle premiere of SUNSET BABY, OBIE Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau‘s fiery saga of a former revolutionary rebuilding a relationship with his estranged daughter. For the holidays, ArtsWest is thrilled to present the Seattle premiere of the riotous, joyful musical HEAD OVER HEELS, a technicolor tale of a kingdom in crisis set to the irresistible music of The Go-Go’s. Next, from Lauren Gunderson, American Theatre’s Most Produced Playwright of 2017, THE REVOLUTIONISTS reimagines the lives of four famous women who risked their necks during one of France’s most infamous periods of social upheaval.
Kicking off the second half of the Season is SAINT JOAN, George Bernard Shaw‘s celebrated story of one of history’s most infamous revolutionaries, to be directed in a new, stripped-back staging by Mathew Wright. Next is ALEX & ALIX by celebrated playwright and activist Sara Porkalob (DRAGON LADY, DRAGON CYCLE), a moving meditation on love and memory, in its world premiere. Capping off the AGENTS OF CHANGE Season is the Seattle premiere of MISS YOU LIKE HELL, a dynamic, heart-rending musical about an immigrant mother, her estranged daughter, and their cross-country journey to discover what – if anything – can keep them together.
Dates, and more about each play, after the jump:
By Dominique Morisseau
September 26 – October 20, 2019
When the tough, independent Nina is visited by her father, a former revolutionary in the Black liberation movement, she can’t tell what he’s after – a fix to their broken relationship, or the cache of letters that ties their fates together. As father and daughter circle one another, old wounds are revealed, generational differences exposed, and blazing truths laid bare. Morisseau’s smart, entertaining, and moving story about family, survival, and the nature of liberation is “not only dynamic, it’s dynamite” (The New York Times).
Head Over Heels
Songs by The GoGo’s
Based upon The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney
Conceived & Original Book by Jeff Whitty
Adapted by James Magruder
November 21 – December 29, 2019
A hilarious, exuberant musical that will get you grooving in your seat, Head Over Heels follows a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction, only to discover the revolution they need is within their own hearts. From the visionaries who rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, and Spring Awakening, this bold and fierce new musical comedy – set to the iconic music of the ’80s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” – is a spirited and sexy celebration of love in all its infinite varieties.
By Lauren Gunderson
January 16 – February 9, 2020
Four beautiful, badass women – Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle – lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. As this fearless comedy about a motley female foursome unfolds, The Revolutionists rewrites the book on violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world.
By George Bernard Shaw
March 12 – April 5, 2020
Tracing the life of Joan of Arc, from the siege of Orleans through her trial and recantation, and culminating with the tragedy that transformed her into a legend, Saint Joan is an electrifying portrait of one of history’s most revered and revolutionary lightning rods. Fiery and timeless, Shaw’s masterpiece shines a fierce light on the limits of an individual in a society dominated by political and religious forces.Presented in a new, stripped-back staging directed by Mathew Wright, prepare to see Joan’s incendiary life shine brighter than ever.
Alex & Alix
By Sara Porkalob
April 30 – May 24
From artist & activist Sara Porkalob (Dragon Lady, Dragon Cycle) comes a new play about endings, beginnings, and the unseen forces that shape the way we remember love. A moving meditation on memory, trauma and healing from one of Seattle’s-and now, one of the nation’s-most celebrated theatre makers, Alex & Alix is about two women, one name, and a love story that gets rewritten every day.
Miss You Like Hell
Book & Lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music & Lyrics by Erin McKeown
June 18 – July 26, 2020
Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (Water by the Spoonful,In the Heights) and acclaimed, genre-breaking singer/songwriter Erin McKeown join forces for anew musical that will find your soul and stay with you forever. When Beatriz, an undocumented immigrant facing trial for deportation, persuades her estranged daughter to speak on her behalf, they set off on a road trip that crosses state lines and reveals what sets them apart-and what connects them forever. Featuring music every bit as diverse and eclectic as America, Miss You Like Hell exudes the joy, love, and frustration of being a family in a changing country.
ArtsWest (4711 California SW) is selling season subscriptions now, and plans to offer individual tickets by August 1st.